> >> after nearly five years in captivity, their son bowe is coming home. prisoner swap - a u.s. soldier held host ig in afghanistan is -- hostage in afghanistan is freed for five taliban leaders. i'm here with the world news on al jazeera. also ahead - the anger behind the smiles. china hits back at the u.s. over its stance on the china sea. a sudanese government official says the woman sentenced to death for abandoning islam could
soon be freed. >> i'm rory challands in russia where half the population smokes. from this weekend there's a smoking ban that's come in. people are being told to stub it out in bars and restaurants like this. a u.s. soldier held in afghanistan for nearly five years is on his way to a hospital in germany. sergeant bowe bergdahl was freed in a deal brokered bay qatar. in return the u.s. released five senior taliban detainees from guantanamo bay. we have more from washington d.c. >> reporter: this is the deal the taliban had long been pushing for. after five years in captivity, sergeant bowe bergdahl was handed to a force of u.s.
special operation soldiers in eastern afghanistan by a 19-strong contight by the taliban. and exchange five will be send to qatar. they are former officials of the taliban government that held power before the u.s. invasion. >> i want to go home, you know. the afghanistan men in our prisons, they want to go home too. >> during his captivity bowe bergdahl could be seen. the prisoner swap has been discussed since 2011. whoous officials the weeks ago a new opportunity aroz. in the roz garden, bowe bergdahl's parents by his side the president said u.s. safety would not be compromised. >> we worked for several years, and this week i thanked the emar of qatar for helping to get this
done. as part of the efforts america is transferring five detainees from the question in guantanamo bay. the qatari government has said it would put in place measures to protect our citizens. >> some say that president obama has broken the law, by not notifying 38 days before the release of the prisoners. the white house hopes it will help with negotiation efforts. >> these negotiations and their success suggests that the taliban is turning more towards politics and the negotiation with the anticipation that the americans are leaving, and i think they want to play a political role in afghanistan, not just the role of terrorists. >> bowe bergdahl was traded twice. officials say he's in good condition and will travel to a u.s. military hospital. >> well, the five taliban
detainees had been held in guantanamo bay since 2002. they were part of the afghan leadership before the u.s.-led invasion in 2001. mohammad fazl was the deputy minister of between and a senior commander. khairullah khairkhwa was minister of interior and was associated with osama bin laden. and abdul haq wasiq, the deputy minister of intel gones was central in forming alliances between the taliban and other groups. mullah norullah noori was a senior military commander during fighting between the coalition forces in 2001, and mohammed nabi served in multiple rolls. we have this report from doha. >> there are two things that we will monitor in the capital. the arrival of the five taliban detainees, and the presser by
the qatari minister of foreign affairs, where we expect him to shed light on the role that the qatari government played in the prisoner swap, and details about the prestrictions placed on the former detainees. this is one aspect. there's another aspect boosted by the swop. the qatari government is likely to play a significant role in the future. you have the afghan reconciliation, and on the other hand you have the foreign troops pulling out from afghanistan. as we speak, the taliban say that they are doing all this in directly, which leads us to assume that the qataris are playing a significant role. these are questions we are likely going to get more like, and answers in the coming hour.
>> in sergeant bowe bergdahl's home town in idaho, people are preparing to welcome him. al jazeera's allen schauffler is there. >> captive american soldier bowe bergdahl may have fallen off the radar screens during the five years he's been in captivity, that is not the case in idaho, in the state of boycie and his home tv town of hayley, he has never been forgotten. people are excited that he is coming home. they have kept up a drum beat, pressure on the obama administration, the department of state and the american military. parents and friends pushing, saying that we needed to do more to get bowe bergdahl out. five years in captivity. we are not entirely sure of the time line. we know they'll be treated in
germany and debriefed in texas. at some point come back to idaho, and come back to hayley, which has been a town wrapped in yellow ribbons for most of the last half decade and they have not forgotten about bowe bergdahl. you'll see bumper stickers and the yellow ribbons. they have a big festival planned - bring bow back. they have changed the title to "bowe is back, and they say that festivity is going to go on, hopefully with bowe bergdahl in attendance." >> a sudanese government official says that the woman sentenced to death for abandoning islam could be released. meriam ibrahim's case caused on international outcry. she was sentenced to 100 lashes for marrying a prisoner. her lawyer says he has heard nothing about a release, and that's the decision that can
only be made by the courts. >> china has sent a clear response to the u.s. defence secretary who accuses of it destabilizing the south china sea region. the general told chuck hagel that his criticisms were groundless. the general denounced shipzo abe's comments. abe called on other countries to respect the rule of law. >> translation: we will never accept provocations under the pretext stirring up tension for selfish interests. the speeches made by mr abe and mr hagel gave me the impression that they coordinated with each other, staging provocative actions. >> richard sinker is a writer and senior feller at the school of international studies, saying south-east asian nations are
willing to put their strong trade ties on the line and respect. the time to do this balancing act of having good relations with china, they have to. it's the 800 pound guerilla, they hedge their bets by keeping the united states involved as a kind of a counterweight to any kind of promise with china. it's a tough balancing act. at this point i don't think they are having problems from the u.s. side of things. what really is going to depend is how china will act in the next couple of years and whether or not they'll get ipp trance gent and insist that south-east ain nation's accept the chinese definitions as to what counts as sof repity or enforcement capabilities in the south china sea. >> italy's navy rescued more
than 3,500 migrants in 24 hours. the majority were men from syria and north africa. there were hundreds of children. they've been taken to ports on sicily and lampedusa. the government says the number of government arrivals is equal to the numbers last year. >> migrants are trying to enter the european union illegally by land. hundreds are breaking through the barrier to cross to a sponish enclave. we met a man held in the detention camp. >> time moves slowly at the immigration camp. after making it across the border, these migrants are at the mercy of spanish bureaucracy. it could mean months in limbo before they discover how to live
in the e.u. more now. life goes on. >> they travelled 5,000 kilometres overland. he was one of 400 people coming offer the border this week. >> i say [ speaking foreign language ] . >> what does that mean? >> victory. >> victory it may sign, but the sudden flux of migrants overwhelmed the camp. 12km of watch towers and raiser wire run down to the sea. when navy vessels guard the waters. an increase in navy patrols successful successfully helps migrants trying to make it across.
at the camps pressure is mounting. central government has been urged to help. they know an influx of migrants can happen at any time. the fence is no longer an obstacle for those in search of a better life. >> az says it has accepted more than 500 afghan refugees in recent months. the government said that's resettled jeopardised their safety by helping the australian military in the war. most worked as interpreters. australia ended military operations in afghanistan in 2013. >> the trial for three of al jazeera's staff detained in egypt resumes on sunday. still ahead - problems faced by media outlets in the country. fund out why the white sandy beaches are losing their appeal
welcome back. the top stories here on al jazeera, a u.s. soldier is being flown to hospital in germany after beingersed by taliban -- being released by taliban fighters. sergeant bowe bergdahl was released in exchange for five taliban detainees from guantanamo bay. a sudanese government official said a woman sentenced to death for abandoning islam
may be released. more on our top story. joining me from kabul is a former afghan member of parliament. thank you for being with us on the show. we know that there are ongoing peace talks between the taliban and the afghan government. how do you see the deal? how do you see it influencing the peace process in afghanistan? >> well, of course, living in qatar, it shows that taliban have been able to strike a deal with the united states directly, showing that the direct talks between the two are producing results. and it september a signal to the afghan government and the future deposit that the taliban are able to talk to the united states and vice versa, and on
the other hand it has another message which tells you that the taliban are flexing their political muscle, saying that, okay, if you are announcing the withdrawal of the troops to zero option 2016, we will give you something in return, and we'll take something in return. this shows that they are trying to convince everybody that they are pursuing a goal of total withdrawal from afghanistan. and at the statement this has an effect on the future of the elections that are upcoming in two weeks. it's interesting that you say that the taliban are trying to convenience people that they are in favour of these peace talks. on the other side the senior taliban figures - how concerned are you that this could turp on its head and boost moral within the taliban and embolden the groups for more attacks in
afghanistan? >> i think that the taliban should be careful not to do that because this should be used as a confidence building measure, rather than taking venge of it. in my -- advantage of it. in my opinion, the hopes of the afghan people are hinging on afghanistan, the taliban shall seize the moment. and say if you are expressing goodwill, we are willing to move forward. they'll not one in a lopping war. they say protract the war. they'll not win. this war is not winnable in the war front. it is winnable by nonmilitary means. >> i just want to take you up on that point. the deal, as you mentioned shos that the taliban -- shows that the taliban is willing to negotiate. perhaps signalling that they'd
luke to move to a more political role. would you like to see taliban members in parliament, in afghanistan? >> well, we, as human being, should always open ways towards paving the road towards peace, and afghanistan, like other nations, should create an evolutionary process for a better future. only peace can bring the future. in the pass the taliban who are trying to join the political process should have a room in the country. thank you for joining us. a former afghan member of parliament speaking to us from kabul. >> rebel fighters in syria say they have broken up a tunnel killing 40 government soldiers in aleppo. the islamic front claimed responsibility. earlier this month another tunnel was blown up in the city
of aleppo. iraqi army soldiers are battling anti-government fighters. 13 people were killed as iraqi security forces tried to enter the city. doctors at the main hospital says more that 350 people had been killed since then. six egyptian border guards have been killed by smugglers. an army spokesman said the sold qurs were targeted. the attack follows the arrest of smug there ares, and the confiscation of weapons, cars and drugs. weapons flows have increased along the borders. the desert borders, since the uprising that toppled muammar gaddafi in 2011. >> three al jazeera staff will return to court later today. they are on trial, accused of
aiding the banned group muslim brotherhood. peter greste, mohamed fadel fahmy and baher mohamed have been in gaol for 155 days. another al jazeera correspondent, abdullah al-shami has been held in a cairo prison without charge for more than nine months. as nicole johnson reports, the crackdown on the media has been widespread. >> this is an all-too familiar scene. al jazeera journalists in court. they are not the only ones. they shut down tv stations, raided offices of media outlets, and detained more than 65 journalists in july, and in addition they prosecuted and persecuted a lot of the defenders. this is the funeral of reporter shot in the back of the head while covering a protest in
march. egypt's americans of interior has agreed to provide 100 bulletproof vests for journalists covering demonstrations. gaoled media journalists cover freelance photographer. he has been in toura prison since august last year. secular activists have been targeted. one of the well-known ones is the leader of the april 6th movements. one of the earlier groups behind the 2011 rev loose. former led of the military abdul fatah al-sisi won the presidential election. abdul fatah al-sisi is going to have a lot to difficulty with international community, getting aid, giving investment, having legitimacy to say that he is running the country towards a democratic government.
unless he releases the journalist behind bars and prosecutes those responsible. >> last year a video came out where ses spoke about the media -- abdul fatah al-sisi spoke with the media. one officer said... . >> translation: showing a red card to media outlets will make them stop at a certain line or limit through self-censorship. >> abdul fatah al-sisi responded with... . >> translation: building a state-wide alliance takes a long time and effort. it takes a long time until you get an appropriate sphere of influence over the media. >> now that he's president, abdul fatah al-sisi will have the power to deal with the media any way he wants. south sudan's rebel leaders says he's committed to the ceasefire signed this month. riek machar made the comments in
nairobi, where he's been talking to president kenyatta. he demonstrated that he is not in total charge of his forces. he says he's committed to the roadmap for peace. >> we are negotiating. nobody is being forced to. some could opt not to accept it. >> the prime minister would have done anything. i'm hoping he'll come for the 9 june meeting. in that i'm hoping that it will also be something substantial that we will sign, that we will give direction to the negotiators and the mediators. >> a smoking ban comes into force in russia, making it illegal to light up in bars, restaurant and cafes.
it comes despite calls from smokers and the hospitality industry to water down the legislation. >> it's early evening and a post-work crowd is settling into its drinks. here a drink goes with a cigarette. the hd son bar is popular. as russians day, the air could get to thick, you could happening an axe. from june the 1st, the bar's owners are saying to stump it out. >> when - people don't come because there's too much motorbiking. i'm looking -- smoke. i'm looking forward to getting that client back. >> the crowd is mus cove item, expat, plenty of whom have kicked the habit. russia is attached to it vices. cigarettes are cheep, $1 or $2 a
packet. half the population smoke. the average russians lives to 66 years, compared to the european union, where the life expectancy is 79. >> despite the death toll a group has collected 100,000 signatures. >> translation: i think smokers should be able to smoke everywhere though go. in theatres, hospitals, work, especially in organised places. they don't violate the rites of nolle prosequi smokers. >> andrea admits there's tobacco company money funding the campaign. opposition is real enough. a survey suggests 82% of bar and restaurant and cafe owners think the band will hurt openers. >> it's not order. it's mess.
this is not correct for people, it's correct for law makers, but not for us. >> the government gets what it wants, and it's being quite smart introducing this legislation in the hot summer months. going outside for a secret when it's minus 25 won't be fun. by then the smoking ban will be yesterday's news. tourists from a number of countries are being advised not to travel to kenya. aseries of attacks increased concerns. >> reporter: the white sandy beaches of some of kenya's hotels remain empty. a series of attacks promised countries, of the u.s., u.k., against travel to parts of kenya, including sections of the
coast. >> advisories from issued, this man lost interest. >> a day before the travel advisory came out we had an arrival of 108 british tourists. the occupancy was 157 for low season. not very bad. and after the tourists were evacuated on saturday, we had only 20 tourists left. tourism is the second largest change of foreign revenue after agriculture. it drives the economy along the coast. 20 hotels have been closed. 7 million lost in tourists cancellations and thousands of employees laid off. this is the low season for kenya's tourism season. it's not unusual for hotels to cut down costs by reducing
employees. a low season with travel advisories are damaging, special with the high season fast approaching. tourism ministry cabinet secretary says it's time for the country to expand its market and reach out to av countries, the far east and eastern euro. >> we have a plan, we are rolling out the plan. we are identifying the markets that we thought would stablilize the tourism sector. >> this man is more worried about what is to some. he's one of thousands who have been laid off. he's not certain if or when he's getting his job back. >> if tourists don't come, we'll be devastated. if i don't repair generators, i won't get customers, because no
one will have money to pay. >> he's has five children to sustain and not many options. >> a reminder, you can keep up to date with the latest news, teatures and analysis on the website. you're in the stream. has the enter brought us closer to owing or pushed us farther apart? it's one of the most defining cultural questions of the past decade. one family took a year to put it to the test deciding to live like it was 1986. rotary mphones and paper maps and all. what they learned from forfeiting it. the growing number of households choosing to go off the grid. how some hide their personal information trails from the